Loaded lan­guage

San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition - - OPINION -

Re­gard­ing “Moun­tain lion sub­dued in S.F.’s Di­a­mond Heights” (Nov. 11): A news­pa­per should be aware of loaded lan­guage. I am re­fer­ring to the use of words like “slink­ing” or “lurk­ing” to de­scribe the ac­tiv­i­ties of the moun­tain lion re­cently dis­cov­ered in San Fran­cisco. My in­ter­pre­ta­tion of this an­i­mal’s be­hav­ior might in­clude words like “hid­ing,” “seek­ing refuge” or “look­ing for a place that might serve as habi­tat af­ter it wan­dered out of its home.” Th­ese big cats are try­ing to live in an in­creas­ingly shrink­ing habi­tat. It only feeds into fear and mis­in­for­ma­tion to cast them as ac­tively threat­en­ing to hu­mans when it is more likely they are just try­ing to get to a safe place. Debby Har­ri­son, Field­brook,

Hum­boldt County

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